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sikh: Controversy hits Saragarhi statue in Britain after Akal Takht jathedar visit – Times of India

LONDON: The disclosing of the Saragarhi statue in Wolverhampton final weekend has been mired in controversy after one Sikh group criticised the attendance of the jathedar of the Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh, who flew from India, in addition to the design and price of the memorial.
The memorial commemorates the Battle of Saragarhi, which noticed 21 troopers from the thirty sixth Sikh Regiment pitted in opposition to hundreds of Afghan tribesmen. It was commissioned by Wednesfield’s Guru Nanak Gurdwara.
The Sikh Press Affiliation, in an Instagram publish, stated: “Final month UK Sikh group determine Sukhjeevan Singh wrote an open letter criticising Harpreet Singh’s attendance for the revealing. Many imagine the jathedar ought to solely give official assist to Sikh particular causes, thus not these preventing for the British crown. Moreover, the jathedar is relatively silent on present British Sikh points, such because the #westmidlands3 trial and #FreeJaggiNow marketing campaign.”
“Westmindlands3” refers back to the extradition listening to subsequent Wednesday at Westminster magistrates’ courtroom of three British-born Sikh males, Gursharanvir Singh Wahiwala, Amritivir Singh Wahiwala and Piara Singh Gill, who reside within the West Midlands, who India is in search of to extradite to face fees of conspiracy to a homicide in India in 2009.
The publish additionally condemned the statue for the phrases “sooraa so pahichaanee-ai jo larai deen kay hayt purjaa purjaa kat marai kabhoo na chhaadai khayt” by Guru Gobind Singh Ji engraved on it beneath the ft of the statue of Havildar Ishar Singh, who led the 21 Sikh troopers.
“Gurbani (Guru’s phrases) is remitted to be revered because the gurus themselves, thus barring it being placed on something that gained’t be saved protected and handled respectfully always,” the Sikh Press Affiliation Instagram publish stated. “Lastly, many have criticised the price of the statue, with £100,000 (Rs 1 crore) of native gurdwara cash getting used for it. Many really feel this cash could possibly be higher spent by the Sikh group, particularly in consideration of the Sikh observe of seva (service) and present international points,” the publish stated.
The gurdwara congregation raised £100,000 for the monument and the Metropolis of Wolverhampton Council contributed £35,000 (Rs 35 lakh) after it agreed to switch land to the gurdwara on a 99-year lease.
Wolverhampton metropolis councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, who labored carefully with Guru Nanak Gurdwara to develop the memorial, stated: “We now have lined up these phrases and we’ll take the slab out and put in a brand new slab with these phrases unnoticed so there shall be no Gurbani textual content on it. When this was dropped at our consideration on Sunday night, we instantly stated now we have made a horrible mistake and despatched out a video apologising. We have been very honoured to have the jathedar of the Akal Takht attend the revealing. These have been Sikh troopers who have been defeated on the Saragarhi outpost who sacrificed their lives and we’re commemorating their bravery, together with all the opposite Sikh troopers who fought in each world wars. The jathedar was invited to fulfill West Midlands Police at Lloyd Home in Birmingham, and if he had attended he might have raised his issues about these points. However these very individuals stated the jathedar mustn’t go to Lloyd Home or converse with the police so he determined he didn’t wish to upset the Sikh group.”
And relating to the fee, he stated: “We really feel these 21 troopers deserve every thing and we really feel that could be a very small contribution, what now we have achieved, and they’ve worldwide fame and everybody will now know the historical past of Saragarhi.”

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